Blog - Jazz Guitar Lessons

Welcome to the blog of jazz-guitar-licks.com

This blog covers different subjects and contains several useful lessons both for beginners, intermediates and advanced jazz guitar players.

Whether you're looking for tips on playing jazz guitar, this blog surely has the information you crave and will help you expand your music knowledge and technical skills.

You will find here tutorials grouped into several distinct categories:

Jazz Guitar Lessons

Jazz Guitar Licks and Transcriptions

Scales and Arpeggios

Chords

Jazz Standards

Music Theory

Guitar Practice Tips

Creator Spotlight - Jazz Guitar Lessons

Cheat Sheets, Methods, Posters, eBooks

Infographics

Guitar Gear Reviews

Music Reviews

Uncategorized

Guest Posts

The content is regularly updated. If you're new here, it's a great place to start learning jazz guitar. Don't hesitate to subscribe to the newsletter to receive the latest posts.

  • 10 Jazz Blues Tunes Every Beginning Guitarist Should Know

    Building Your Jazz Blues Repertoire

    Top 10 jazz blues tunes to knowA big part of learning jazz guitar means building his own repertoire of pieces. Here is a list of 10 jazz blues songs every beginning guitarist should know.

    This short list covers a range of jazz blues chord progressions and their different variations (form, tonality, Harmonic structure) with a brief analysis and also represents the most played jazz blues tunes at jam sessions.

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  • How to Make Sure Your Guitar Is Setup

    How to make sure your guitar is setup 1Taking care of your equipment is essential.

    Guest post by Glen Parry


    Whether it’s your car, PC, or your guitar, in order for it to work properly and as for long as possible, you need to make sure that everything’s in order. Sure, you could take your guitar to a professional and have them do it for you, but why not learn to do it yourself? Not only will you save money and time, but you will also learn a thing or two about your instrument. Here are some quick and straightforward tips that will make setting up your guitar a piece of cake!

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  • The Blues Arpeggio - How To Mix Major And Minor Triads

    The blues arpeggio guitar lessonWhat's the Blues Arpeggio ?

    Traditionally, when a student learns to improvise over a jazz, blues tune, he taught pentatonic scales, major triads or dominant 7th arpeggios, but there is something missing to get this specific and exciting jazz-blues sound, "The Blues Arpeggio". This is a very interesting and important device to use over this musical genre. It is a mix of a major triad and a minor triad, it contains both major and minor thirds, representing one of the most vital elements of the blues. In this jazz guitar lesson we will see how to build the blues arpeggio, how to practice it and how to play it on a blues.

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  • How to Buy the Best Jazz Guitar Based on Body Type (Guide for Beginners)

    Guest post by Aaron Schulman

    While there is no absolute best jazz guitar for everyone, there are definitely a few jazz guitar models that would be a best fit for you.

    The trick is to learn enough about the different body styles and electronics to understand the sonic qualities that each jazz guitar expresses.

    You’ll want to educate yourself both on the different jazz guitar body styles and manufacturers.  The more homework you do, the more your understanding will grow and the more confident you will be in your final purchase decision.

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  • How To Play Jazz Guitar For Beginner

    How to play jazz for beginnersGuest post by Marc-Andre Seguin

    So, you've decided to try your hand at Jazz guitar. This article will assume a certain base level of proficiency in the general language of music apart from the specific vernacular that informs jazz music, guitarists specifically. Not because it's a theory article, but because if you hope to learn how to play this music (and any style, really) a little knowledge goes a long way. If you have no background in notated music, theory and harmony please pick up Barbara Wharram's Theory For Beginners. It will open the door.

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  • The 14 Most Important Jazz Chord Progressions

    Minor ii valt i chord progression 1 1

    A chord progression is a succession of musical chords (with at least two notes) played one after another. Chord progression can be named harmonic progression and represent the foundation of western and traditional music. 

    Many jazz standards use similar chord progressions, in different keys it is very important to recognize them by ear and visually. Working and practicing basic chord sequences will make you feel more comfortable when you will need to learn jazz standards,  it will more evident and easy to comp and solo.

    In this lesson you will learn to recognize the 14 most important jazz chord progressions as minor and major II-V-I, the turnarounds and their variations, how to use passing diminished chords. You will find charts with roman numerals to easily transpose these harmonic progressions in different keys and some examples of comping with audio files, tabs and standard notation.

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  • How to Play a Major 7th Arpeggio Over a Dominant 7 Chord

    Major arpeggio over g7When a jazz beginner starts to improvise over a II-V-I progression, he generally plays arpeggios corresponding to the chords of the sequence.

    In other words, he learns to play minor arpeggios over the minor chord (II), dominant 7th arpeggio over the 7th chord (V) and major arpeggio over the major 7 chord (I). This way the harmony is highlighted without taking risks.

    In the long-run there is nothing exciting. That's why there is a nice trick used by number of jazz players to add smoothness to a dominant line. This is a little tip that makes all the difference which consists of playing a major 7th arpeggio over the V7 rooted on its b7 degree.

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  • Barry Galbraith jazz guitar study - Like someone - Guitar comping video with bass lines

    Like someoneA new video has been uploaded on the YouTube channel. It is a Barry Galbraith comping study named "Like someone". This is the last study from the Barry Galbraith book "Jazz guitar comping series, vol #3" published by Jamey Aebersold. Most of the accompaniments studies (comps) in this book are designed to accompany a melody or an improvised solo with bass lines like a pianist would do. It is a very great book to practice jazz guitar comping.

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  • Is Amp Simulation the Cure for GAS ?

    Amplitube 3 pedalsAs a guitarist, it’s tempting to spend a lot of time and money on gear. All of us suffer from G.A.S. (gear acquisition syndrome) to some degree. The never-ending search for the ‘perfect’ tone will plague us all. At some point, though, this obsession with gear can distract you from what matters.

    For most guitarists, their tone starts with their hands. Guitar choice, amp choice, pedals and everything else comes second to technique. So, I propose an alternative - rather than focusing on GEAR, focus on SKILL. That doesn’t mean tone isn’t important, though. It shouldn’t be disregarded entirely. There is an efficient, cost-effective way to find the right tone in seconds - without ever visiting your local Guitar Center...

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  • How to Play Major Triads on Guitar - Close and Open Voicings

    Drop 2 major chord bass on string 5 3A major chord is built with three notes namely root (1), major third (3) and fifth (5). These three tones represent the structure of the major chord. The same holds true for minor, diminished and augmented chords. In this guitar lesson you will learn how to play a major chord in closed and open triad voicings (also known as spread voicings). 

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  • 8 Ways to Play The Minor Pentatonic Scale Over a Dominant Chord

    minor pentatonic scales over dominant chordsThe minor pentatonic scale is by far the most used scale in the world all styles taken together (jazz, blues, rock, reggae, pop, country).

    One of the explanation is given by the structure. Indeed, there are no semi-tones in it. It is easy to play on the guitar and it can be used in a whole lot of very different contexts.

    This lesson will show you eight ways to use the minor pentatonic scale over a dominant seventh chord. The principle is easy to understand, this consists in playing the minor pentatonic scale starting on each tone of the Mixolydian scale (1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, b7).

     This method helps to highlight certain notes and brings interesting colors to your jazz guitar lines depending on you want to play outside or inside.

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  • Kenny Burrell - In a Mellow Tone - Jazz Guitar Transcription

    A new video has been uploaded on the youtube channel. It is a jazz guitar transcription of the jazz standard "In a mellow tone" composed by Duke Ellington and performed by Kenny Burrell in 1990.

     Here is the Kenny Burrell version on which the transcription is based and the link to the album dedicated to Duke Ellington.

     

     

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  • List of Jazz Standards and Keys

    Music key and notes background pictureA“standard” or “jazz standard” is referring to a popular music piece and/or jazz music composition that is held in continuing esteem and is frequently used in musical repertoire.

    Many of these “jazz standards” were not necessarily originally jazz compositions. Music publishers include the term “jazz standards” in a description or a title they nearly always are referring to compositions used as the basis for improvisation or jazz arrangements.

    You will find in this post a non-exhaustive list of jazz standards and their original keys to practice at home or in jam sessions. 

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  • Triad Arpeggios - Guitar Lesson For Beginners

    Triad arpeggios - Guitar lessonArpeggios are surely the most important devices to master when you want to start improvising. Every jazz players use arpeggios in their improvisations. Great guitarists, all kinds of styles use arpeggios : John Scofield, Kurt Rosewinkel, Birelli Lagrene, Django Reinhardt, and many more.

    Arpeggios are played extensively because they use only the notes found in a single chord. Therefore,  they create a more harmonized sound when played with their corresponding chord. Arpeggios are very helpful to easily outline the chord changes.

    This guitar lesson is focused on the most basic form of arpeggios made out of three notes called "triad arpeggios". 

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  • Superimposed Diatonic Arpeggios - Guitar Lesson With Tabs

    Arpeggios are very helpful devices to easily outline the chord changes especially in tunes with fast tempos as bebop tunes for examples.

    The basic use of arpeggios is to play them over their related chord, for example play a Gm7 arpeggio (G-Bb-D-F) over a G minor 7 chord or a C7 arpeggio (C-E-G-Bb) over a C dominant 7 chord.

    Over a classic II-V-I progression in C major (Dm7-G7-Cmaj7) you will play Dm7 arp, G7 arp and Cmaj7 arp. This way you take no risks and you are sure to underline and hear correctly the harmony.

    Unfortunately, this can be boring in the long run, that's why, in this article, we will see how to superimposed diatonic arpeggios to open new paths and create original and interesting jazz lines.

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  • Jazz guitar chord voicings - II-V-I progression - 5 Exercises

    II V I jazz guitar chordsYou will find in this page 5 exercises to learn to play different jazz guitar chord voicings over the most used chord progression in jazz, the famous II-V-I sequence.

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